Epic Theatre Ensemble
Epic’s mission is to create bold work with and for diverse communities that promotes vital discourse and social change. They accomplish this mission by: inspiring students to be creative and engaged citizens; presenting compelling topics that transform the way people think; and, collaborating with artists, students, and thought leaders to produce plays about key issues. They believe that when diverse, multi-generational communities are brought together to address civic issues by a shared, live, theatrical experience, it improves the health of our democracy. The company’s diverse programming includes full productions, new play development initiatives, and in- and after-school arts education programs. Epic has commissioned, developed, and produed 34 new works of socially-minded theater, including nationally-known plays like Kate Fodor’s Hannah and Martin and Nilaja Sun’s No Child, along with engaging productions of classics from Shakespeare, Ibsen, and Priestley. Epic's productions have received Obie, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics, and Otto Awards. Its education programs use theater to foster empathy, create civic dialogue, and empower students' voices in their communities. In 2009, Epic Theatre Ensemble received the Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts & the Humanities for its after-school Shakespeare Remix program. Epic NEXT is the company’s newest project, a rigorous three-year youth mentorship program centered around artistic growth, intense collaboration with peers and leading Artist-Mentors, college readiness, and civic engagement, that is turning economically-disadvantaged NYC students into the American arts leaders of the future.
For Shakespeare in American Communities, Epic Theatre Ensemble will present student matinees of The Winter's Tale directed by Co-Founder Ron Russell, as part of their Shakespeare REMIX after-school program. The company will provide related educational activities, including workshops, residencies, and a study guide. They anticipate reaching 12 schools from New York.